Location, location, location is a mantra that benefited many main street retail entrepreneurs. However, in today’s economy location is less about finding the right storefront and more about creating scalable processes that can translate to several markets.
A DHL sponsored a study by IHS of small and medium sized enterprises in G7 countries and in Brazil, Russia, India, China and Mexico with between 10 and 249 employees. I.H.S. found that companies with international trade components out-performed their market double the rate of those that only operated domestically. Although a causal relationship (i.e. that international trade was responsible for the high comparative performance) was not indicated it is clear that international trade made it more likely that a company would outperform others in the market.
Many times when building a house, a contractor will advise you to place plumbing, HVACs, and electrical systems in locations where you currently would not need to use them. The reasoning is that it is less expensive to lay extra wiring, plumbing etcetera than it is to move furniture, relocate, and tear down walls 10 years. When planning your start-up business as similar approach is advisable. Although you may not currently have either the staff, resources, or want to sell internationally, your processes should be mapped out so that if or when that opportunity comes available and is prudent, you can take advantage of it, without having to start over from scratch.
The full report is available from IHS. Moreover, the resources of the Georgia Department of Economic Development are abundant and include trade missions to foreign countries and trade alerts that links small businesses with potential international buyers.